NBA Schedule Analysis
By Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Staff Writer
In the East, Philadelphia and Atlanta have locked up playoff spots -- through April 4, the Hawks and Sixers are sitting in the four and five seeds. The Knicks officially gave up the ghost with Saturday's loss to the Raptors and, like the Wizards, have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Indiana, Milwaukee, New Jersey and Toronto haven't been eliminated officially -- yet -- but they're just about done. The team with the best chance to squeak into the postseason is Charlotte -- the Bobcats sit two games behind the Pistons in the race for the eighth seed, with six games to play. In the West, the playoff field is more or less set, unless you think the Suns can make up three games on the Mavs with just six to play. But most of the conference is fighting for positioning... the Lakers have a hammer-lock on the top spot, but the Nuggets have displaced the Spurs in the two spot. Right now the three seed (San Antonio) and eight seed (Dallas) are separated by just four games in the standings.
The Suns play three times -- all on the road -- making their chances of catching Dallas even less likely.
That means a compressed schedule for the pros, with most teams playing the same number of games, but with one less day in the schedule. That makes for a lot of back-to-backs and little rest -- at a time when players need the rest the most.
Playing on short rest this week:
Wednesday: Atlanta, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Portland, San Antonio
Friday: Houston, the Lakers, Philly, Portland
Saturday: Charlotte, Detroit, Golden State, Indiana, the Clippers, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Utah
Tuesday: New Orleans/Miami (NBATV)
Wednesday: Portland/San Antonio, Utah/Dallas (ESPN)
Thursday: Philadelphia/Chicago, Denver/Lakers (TNT)
Friday: New York/Orlando (ESPN2)
Saturday: Detroit/Indiana (NBATV)
Sunday: Dallas/New Orleans, Boston/Cleveland (ABC), Philadelphia/Toronto (NBATV) Article first appeared on 4/6/08